Scouting vs. Sports
An Open Letter on Cub Scouting vs. Sports
In my career as a scouter I have been asked for advice with the dilemma parents and scouts face in feeling like they need to choose between scouting or sports. I am writing this letter to inform you that young boys and their family do not need to choose scouting or sports. The answer is scouting and sports. The Cub Scout program can accommodate the schedule of the youth when it comes to extra-curricular activities.
The fact is the Cub Scout program includes a sport component (individual and team) at every age level. We also have a program to promote personal fitness and wellness called SCOUTStrong. These program attributes along with other purposes of the scouting program such as character development, personal achievement, and respectful relationships will further enhance your son’s sport abilities and achievements. To reinforce these statements, a recent study by Tufts University has found that “boys who are involved in sporting activities and scouting yield a higher aptitude rate for Helping Others and Doing the Right Thing over boys who are just in sporting programs.” For the detailed study, please visit YouTube and search for “Scouting Works” or click here.
The key to making this marriage of commitments work is early and straightforward communication between you and your scout leaders so that the proper expectations can be set on both sides. This may mean that you as a parent will need to step in and help your son complete requirements for some scouting commitments. It also means you need to have a conversation with your coach as well.
I personally know many young boys who have successfully competed and won in local/district/state level sporting events while working toward their scout commitments. It can be done. Please don’t make your son choose, instead, you choose. Choose to give your son all the opportunities he deserves.
Yours In Scouting,
Jeff AllanNEPA Scouter